A true classic of American literature, The Great Gatsby celebrates a "heightened sensibility to the promises of life," an American capacity for hope that remains unsullied even by the falsity of what it pursues. Fitzgerald's clean, elegant style evokes to perfection the glitter and charm of the Jazz Age, as well as the falseness of its values.
Gatsby embodies the naive American notion that it is possible to invent oneself and persuade the world to accept that definition. Gatsby's youthful neighbor, Nick Carraway, fascinated by both the display of enormous wealth and the essential integrity that he perceives in Gatsby's vision, becomes his confidante and accomplice in his plan to recapture the heart of Daisy Buchanan.
To supplement this reading of The Great Gatsby, listen to The SparkNotes Guide to The Great Gatsby.